17.08.2020

The Culture-Changer

Typical challenges during a project, how to deal with difficulties and the future of temporary employment. Explore 5 in-depth questions with communications expert Dr. Wolfgang Griepentrog.

Dr. Wolfgang Griepentrog ist Interim Manager und Kommunikationsberater. Der erfahrene Interimer ist Experte für die die Optimierung betrieblicher Kommunikationsprozesse und Projekte im Change Management.

Mr. Griepentrog, which tasks are you responsible for as an interim manager?

I manage the internal and external communications in critically important strategic situations. For example, in change and restructuring projects, repositioning in the market, in crises, and large-scale projects. In situations where communication plays a vital role in the success of a project or company, and there is a lack of resources and know-how to facilitate this success, my skill-set comes into full effect. I measure the success of my work by the long-term contribution to the quality and efficiency of communication of an employer.

For which types of businesses, industries and business areas is your skill-set of the most value? What are the most frequent challenges?

How does a company master change? How do digital transformations take shape? How do innovation and new strategies lead to profitable growth? In most companies these challenges are part of the daily agenda and require professional and effective communication. For example, during digital transformations it is not enough to introduce new technologies and software, it is vital to update the cooperative culture and communications to accommodate the changes in operative processes.
The demand for interim managers in communication roles is high, however medium-sized companies and publicly-traded companies profit differently. Whilst I contribute to smaller companies with new competences and experience, I can assist larger companies by meeting very specific stakeholder interests through targeted communications support. In restructuring projects, for example, I can focus on the specific needs of individual managers or specific departments.

What highlights do you look back on? What are you looking for in the future?

Particularly for difficult communication jobs Interim managers are often a sensible and efficient solution.

Dr. Wolfgang Griepentrog

I have just finished up an interesting time with the Deutsche Bahn Fernverkehr AG. Alongside the development of their IT-communications I developed the communication structure for the project of digital transformation in the planning and control of operations. This project plays a role in ensuring that in future the long-distance trains will be more punctual and reliable, despite rising traffic volume.
Especially challenging was the sales reorientation of Nestlé Germany. As the individual for change and internal communications I helped Nestlé master this extensive change process, whilst other food companies have failed such projects.
What I am looking for in the future is flexible forms of collaboration in communication management. My work as an interim manager places me in the intersection between company consultants, agencies, and in-house managers. In my profession it is especially helpful to understand all different perspectives from personal experience, and to integrate these in difficult corporate-policy phases. For companies this makes sense strategically and is expedient to their success.

If we were to ask your employers and colleagues what makes you successful, what would they say?

I suspect they would answer: Mr. Griepentrog gives us security because he not only recognizes the opportunities and risks of communication, but also leads on the path to success. As an interim manager I consider myself part of the company that I work for. This allows me to develop authentic communication solutions for the employees of the company. What separates me from other consultants is a special degree of empathy and passion for the customer.

When I come home from work I…

…relax by listening to music and doing sport. As an engaged member of my local choir I participate in rehearsals and concerts. This passion is not a coincidence, as music is also a form of communication. When I need to organize my thoughts, I go jogging. Being alone in nature is great for keeping me grounded.

Foto: Dr. Wolfgang Griepentrog
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proINject - Interim Network
Change is a positive thing! We stand for successful transformations through forward-thinking process design and organisational development. We foster open, honest and well-balanced communication with all stakeholders.
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